Calycanthus floridus L.

Locations ofCalycanthus floridus L. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Calycanthus floridus L.
Common Name
Calycanthus floridus L. var. floridus; Calycanthus floridus L. var. glaucus (Willd.) Torr. & Gray; Calycanthus floridus L. var. laevigatus (Willd.) T. & G. & Gray
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Calycanthus floridus L.
Two controversial varieties - var. floridus and var. glaucus – have often been recognized but have proven problematic in Virginia. They may have been more geographically and morphologically distinct prior to centuries of cultivation and cross-breeding. After examining herbarium specimens from across the species range, Weakley (2017, J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 11: 291-325) found that the two traditional vars. based on pubescence were broadly sympatric and had no other morphological, ecological, or phenological distinctions. As a result, Flora of the Southeastern U.S. no longer recognizes infraspecific taxa. The species map here shows both native and introduced populations.
In Virginia, apparently native populations exhibit a strong Coastal Plain – Mountain disjunction. In the se. Virginia Coastal Plain, plants which most closely resemble var. floridus are rare on mesic, forested bluffs and well-drained bottoms in sandhills. In the southern half of the mountains and extreme sw. Piedmont, plants most closely aligned with var. glaucus are rare in coves, mesic slope forests, and small-stream. This pattern is somewhat confounded by numerous occurrences in the same regions of plants (especially matching var. floridus or of ambiguous disposition) persisting or escaped from cultivation in fencerows, roadsides, and around old home sites.
Native Status

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